On December 8th, 2014, our founder, John "JD" Darakjian was taken at the age of 84. Since then, many of you have shared with us how JD touched your lives and we can not thank you enough for your overwhelming love and support. While his passing was a great loss, we know that he will live on in the hearts and souls of everyone he touched. We invite those of you who remember him to continue to help us celebrate the life of a man who was a father, husband, friend, mentor, teacher, leader, advisor, and boss.
If you would like to share something you recall about JD, please feel free to do so.
"Every time i came into the store, he greeted me with a warm and firm handshake and a smile. He always made me feel like i was a king...As if i was doing him the favor of coming into the store. He expected nothing in return. When he injured his shoulder, and i had to inject him and sent him to physical therapy, both of which i know were very painful, he did not complain. He was the most gracious, appreciative, thankful and easy patient any doctor could ever ask for. i will truly miss him."
"John D. Will always have a place in my heart. Started dealing with him as a jeweler years ago. He taught me many things about jewelry as we spent time discussing local, national and world issues. He will be missed for years to come. I will never find another jeweler like John. The family has my deepest sympathy and you are in my prayers."
"I'M SO SORRY TO SAY WE HAVE LOST ANOTHER, SUCH A WONDERFUL PERSON, JUST HIS SMILE WAS A COMFORT TO ME WHEN EVER I WAS IN HIS PRESENCE. I SEND A VERY SPECIAL PRAYER TO HIS FAMILY FOR THIS MAN WAS BLESSED I LOVE YOU ALL."
"My mother Diana was one of John's early customers. We would go to the building at 10 & Evergreen? Every Saturday. Nora would always let me try on things while my Mom actually shopped and bought things. Armen and I are the same age so sometimes he would be at the store too. When my Mom died, John resized much of my Mom's pieces for me. Free of charge.... I will forever have a special place in my heart for John and all of the Darakjians. May his memory always raise a smile on your face and warmth in your heart."
"John was our Mother's favorite! He knew us all by name, and John and his team were the only ones our Mom, Diana Stalburg, trusted with her jewels. He styled her for years and we grew up in his store. He was always so kind and so friendly to us. We always felt welcome there, even as young children."
"I only met Mr. Darakjian twice. But when speaking to him those 2 times I could tell that he was a genuine human being. When leaving the store after talking with him I had a feeling of inner peace. I am very sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace."
"John knew my uncle Sid Sacks for many years and after he found that out he always made me feel like I was special to him. He and his staff always provided us with exceptional customer service because they truly cared about their customers. This I believe was a result of John's truly kind heart. I will miss him, he was a wonderful man."
"For many years, John always took care of me when I needed my jewelry repaired. He was such a friendly, loving person. He always managed to make me smile. I will truly miss him. I know that he is with God and at peace. My prayers are with the family. Stay strong and keep the faith."
"J.D. Was a GREAT person, he always looked like a Million dollar Man. He was always kind,happy, and loved to go to work to see what a great business he built for his family. He was a Proud Man. He was a "success" he was proud to see his children take over the business. John will be missed:( But he is Blessed. May he rest in peace and always be remembered. Our prayers are with you."
"Mr. Darakjian lived on our street in Redford Township and back in 1968 when I wanted to propose to my wife I went to Mr. Darakjian's office in downtown Detroit to pick out a diamond and a setting. He did a beautiful job creating her rings. We celebrated 45 years of marriage this year. She still wears that diamond today. My Mom babysat the Darakjian children back then. May God bless you John and your family."
"I just want to offer my sincere condolences to the family. I have enjoyed years of special events and nice parties and customer appreciation. The Darakjian family has been a pillar of the community always kind and always welcoming. This is a very sad occasion. All of the family and friends will be in my prayers."
"It is with great sadness to read about John's passing. He was a warm and friendly person who always made us feel welcome in the store. I enjoyed talking with him about the stock market and other aspects of life in general. He was a true gentleman and will be dearly missed."
"I just got to know John last year when I helped in the move to Birmingham. But it was the Best three months of my life. The Darakjian Family who welcomed me and treated me like Family was a tribute to John he was a true Gentleman and I throughly enjoy our Thrusday Evening talking about the store, the family and the jewelry business and having our usual 12 year old McCallan. He will truely be missed."
"It was many years ago when I walked into the store looking at the watches and JD came up to me and started showing all kinds of watches. I kept smiling at them and he said "you're always smiling and laughing, I'm going to give you the nickname smiley." Well, it stuck, all these years later, that's what he always called me "Smiley." Well JD, Smiley will miss you."
"You have my sincere condolences. John was a very kind and caring man. Whenever I came in to the store, he always was very warm and thoughtful, considering my needs and helping me with whatever I requested. He will be sorely missed."
"Twenty years ago on November 7, 1994, I started to work at Darakjian Jewelers. When I first started I didn't know anyone there, but I would constantly hear the name "John" or "JD" being called throughout the store. The 64 year old would go around answering everyone's questions and giving them general advice. At the time I was 38, so I felt that it would be rude to just call him John. That's when I went up to him and asked what he would prefer me to call him. John replied, "Then call me Varpet; it's an Armenian word with great significance." Varpet is a person that teaches you things, who gives you advice, who answers all your questions, and who can punish and help you. JD fell under all of these categories. Varpet loved to teach and would always say, "Aram Dzrie Sovore" which means, "Aram learn, it's free." After that he would say, "Aram you know Turkish don't you?" Then he would continue telling me a story passed down to him by one of his own Varpets. On December 8th, a great sadness came upon us; Varpet was taken from us at the age of 84. Although it's a great loss, I know that he will forever be in the hearts of those he has touched."
"John and Bergy have been our friends for more than thirty years. Arman and our youngest son, Artemio, were good friends too. They went to the same highschool. There were lots of nights when I went to their house for a cup of coffee and for a chat. Then John would come home and join us in our conversation as he ate his dinner. Those were the days. Foremost of all that I'll remember about John is his kindness and generosity. When our daughter Annabelle got married, John told me select any piece of jewelry in their store to wear in her wedding. I was so thrilled that I selected a necklace worth $ 40,000.00. This guy is not only kind and generous but very trusting to his friends. John, our dear friend, we will miss you a lot. Have a safe journey and God speed. We love you. Bill, Letty, and family."
"We have known John from the time he was located on Greenfield in Southfield. We moved to Tn. in 2006 and continued to visit and make purchases when we went to visit. John has always treated us with love and respect. Our sincere love goes out to the family and we will never forget what a wonderful friend he became to us."
"John Darakjian was a master jeweler. My family will always remember his smile, his kindness, and outstanding skill. He repaired and updated many pieces of my family's jewelry for over 30 years. He reset the wedding ring that I wear today. He arranged a shopping spree at his showroom for my dental auxiliary during a national convention in Detroit. He will be truly missed. God bless his soul."
"I met John 21 years ago when I married my late husband, John was a wonderful man. I am so saddened by his passing; he was always kind, soft spoken and fair. He would help my husband choose beautiful pieces of jewelry for me, some of them being custom made ... but the real jewel was John. Often I would just stop in over at the Northwestern store just to say hello, and see how he was doing; he wasn't just our jeweler he was a friend. God bless the family. I love you John."